Free agency started today in the National Football League, with the free agent signings that had been announced earlier in the week becoming official as the new league year began. And with free agency beginning, teams all over the league have been making moves to improve their rosters. on the first day of legal tampering (in which teams are allowed to talk to players on other teams before free agency officially starts) some deals were announced already.
In the NFC North the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions both made some big free agent signings. With the Lions bolstering their defense signing players like Defensive Lineman Trey Flowers for a 5 year contract totaling $90 million, and Cornerback Justin Coleman. The Lions also signed famed New England Wideout Danny Amendola, and former Pittsburgh Steeler Tight End Jesse James.
The Bears also made some moves this free agency including signing Wide Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, giving 3rd year Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky a much needed weapon on his offense.
The Minnesota Vikings also were somewhat active in free agency, though their salary cap is less than forgiving this year. The biggest move they made already was retaining the services of Anthony Barr, who according to reports had agreed to a contract with the New York Jets, but decided before the contract became official today that it wouldn’t be a good fit and negotiated a contract extension with the Vikings.
And finally and the last place holder in the NFC North is the Green Bay Packers who made some major moves this free agency. The Packers completely revamped their pass rush and defensive front by signing two premier edge rushers available this year. The signings of Za’daruis and Preston Smith, have the potential to give new life to a pass rush that was anemic and virtually non-existent this last season. These moves also allow Green Bay to be able to move struggling Defensive Back Clay Matthews around on the field and try to spark an impact from him once again. The Packers also made a signing that had the double effect of being a gain for them but a loss for one of their division rivals in the signing of now former Chicago Bear Safety Adrian Amos. this signing gives some much needed support to the deep secondary of the Packers who just today announced that they were releasing Kentrell Brice, and still have questions looming about Tramon Williams’ effectiveness.
All in all this early part of free agency has made the NFC North a much more competitive division, with large improvements being made by every team in areas that they desperately needed to improve at. Free agency isn’t even close to over but it already looks like the NFC North crown may be for the first time in a long time truly anyones for the taking.